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M20 could create over 5,000 jobs

Wednesday, 12th July, 2017 5:45pm

The proposed M20 motorway could create nearly 5,500 jobs in Cork and Limerick and prevent nearly 120 crashes every year.

A new report on the impact that the construction of the proposed 80km M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick would have was published by the Cork and Limerick Chambers of Commerce.

Released this week, the report 'Gearing up for the M20: A Route to Success' was commissioned by both Chambers and was completed by Indecon Economic Consultants and RED C Research.

The report said that the road would help realise an Atlantic Economic Corridor concept comprising Cork, Limerick and Galway. It would also enable balanced economic development on a scale not seen before in Ireland.

The report found that the motorway would have the potential to support an estimated additional 4,000-5,400 direct jobs in the region.

These additional direct jobs could provide an annual gross exchequer impact of up to €128 million, depending on the nature of investment attracted, the report found.

The other major finding was that the development of the motorway would prevent approximately 118 accidents per annum.

Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber, said the report: "Showed the need for a motorway connection between Cork and Limerick can no longer be ignored or postponed. It is in the national interest that our regional economies expand for Ireland to remain competitive and to complement growth in Dublin.

“With the right road network linking them, Cork, Limerick and Galway could effectively become one large labour and customer marketplace improving opportunities and choice for employees and businesses, while also enhancing safety for all users of the road, improving Ireland’s external connectivity and competitiveness. As the Government ramp up capital spend from next year, the M20 must be first on the list of projects to be progressed,” he said.

Other key findings include that the new road would increase the labour force within a 45 minute commute of major employment centres by 23 per cent.

Development of the M20 would reduce the journey time Blarney to Patrickswell by 16 minutes to approximately 47 minutes.

The report also found that the existing N20 between Cork and Limerick has significant capacity constraints that inhibit economic development. The M20 would also reduce stress and improve the quality of life for commuters.

Dr James Ring, CEO of Limerick Chamber, said: “The M20 is probably the most significant piece of infrastructure yet to be developed in the State. Current severe capacity constraints on the N20 is restricting growth potential in our second and third cities, and limits access to business and communities across Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork and up into Galway.”

Both Chambers presented the findings to officials in the Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform; Transport, Tourism and Sport; as well as Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio yesterday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohue would not be drawn on whether the M20 would receive Government funding.

Earlier this week Fianna Fáil Cork North West TD, Michael Moynihan called on the Government to include full funding for the M20 in the upcoming development plan. The Government is expected to announce a 10 year capital investment programme later this week.

“This project is absolutely required to stimulate the rural North Cork economy. I fear that the project will never get off the ground. The Taoiseach has a chance this week to show to the people of Munster that his Government’s priorities don’t stop at the M50 in Dublin,” he said.

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